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CFR Education


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies, Economics, History, Geography

Resource Types

  • Digital Text
  • Interactive Media
  • Lesson Plan

Regional Focus

Global, North America, South and Central America, Oceania, Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East


Google Docs

CFR Education: Resource Conflicts Explained

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  • In this interactive text, students will click through various materials to read about how the different natural resources contribute to conflict.
  • Students will understand how revenue from certain markets funds conflict and how shortages of natural resources contribute to conflict.
  • This is the fifth section of the World 101 Conflict module, which includes a lesson plan for conflict-related sections of the World 101 content.
Teaching Tips


  • There are many other related readings linked throughout this text to build background knowledge or expand learning.
  • This reading is broken down by type of resource, presenting information in digestible chunks, which should help students as they take in the reading as a whole.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The lesson plan correlates to a variety of conflict-related sections.
  • Even if the class is not doing the mapping activity in the lesson plan, it may be helpful to show the countries mentioned on a map, so students can have a little more context for the reading.


  • History students can create a timeline of all the conflict-related dates mentioned in the reading.
  • This article can be read using a jigsaw method, with each student or group of students reading about a different natural resource and related conflict.
  • Students can choose one of the conflicts mentioned or another resource-driven conflict to further research and write a brief report on.
  • Students may predict and discuss how climate change, an increasing global population, and the dwindling of natural resources may affect these conflicts in the future.
Scientist Notes
As the climate continues to change, some natural resources like fresh water are becoming scarce in certain parts of the world. This teaching resource looks at how various natural resources have fueled conflict across the globe. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
      • D2.Geo.11.9-12 Evaluate how economic globalization and the expanding use of scarce resources contribute to conflict and cooperation within and among countries.
      • D2.Geo.5.9-12 Evaluate how political and economic decisions throughout time have influenced cultural and environmental characteristics of various places and regions.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.9-12 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
      • D2.His.14.9-12 Analyze multiple and complex causes and effects of events in the past.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
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